FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2021
Gowrie Group Named Official Insurance Sponsor of 2021 USVI Charter Yacht Show, Set for November 7-10, 2021
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA) is pleased to announce that Gowrie Group, a leading marine insurance agency that manages the comprehensive health insurance and yacht insurance programs offered to active VIPCA members, has been named as the official insurance supplier of the USVI Charter Yacht Show for the fifth year in a row. The 2021 VIPCA-organized Show is set for November 7-10, at IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St Thomas, and offers in-person and virtual elements with COVID-19 Safety Protocols designed to assure the well-being of attendees and island residents alike.
“We see a significant increase in the demand for Travel & Travel Medical Plans and advise all charterers to have a plan in place or to purchase this type of coverage. Gowrie Group has multiple options and can assist in the selection process. Our most popular solution is the Trawick – Safe Travels Voyager. Gowrie and Trawick have partnered with local evacuation carrier, AeroMD, as the preferred provider for all client policies. AeroMD is recognized in the industry for its quality medical care and transportation. The Safe Travels Voyager plan covers COVID-19 the same as any other sickness. COVID-19 medical expenses may be covered and treated the same as any other sickness. Gowrie has also addressed all of the new guidelines in place for entering the neighboring British Virgin Islands and supplies a VISA letter for clients when entering Customs,” says Rick Bagnall, SVP, Gowrie Group, Division of Risk Strategies. “Gowrie Group also now helps many captains, charterers, travel agents, and brokers line up Travel Insurance and Travel Medical insurance for the guests/passengers on each yacht, most often Trawick – Safe Travels Voyager.”
Photo: L to R: Oriel Blake, VIPCA Executive Director; Rick Bagnall, SVP Gowrie Group, Division of Risk Strategies; Mark Gargula, Marine and Personal Specialist Gowrie Group, Division of Risk Strategies. Courtesy VIPCA.
Professional yacht crew also have access to a health insurance program which is available to VIPCA crew members, underwritten by CIGNA and managed by the insurance experts at Gowrie Group. CIGNA offers access to more than 1.5 million health care professionals in 200+ countries and jurisdictions ensuring worldwide coverage. Cigna Global Health is a health insurance plan that is tailored for the needs of people involved in the marine industry. The design of the VIPCA Global program is a High Deductible plan, which has lower monthly premiums, and includes a robust prescription program.
“The market for yacht insurance has evolved rapidly during COVID-19 and we continue to experience a hard market. Many insurance carriers have exited the marine insurance market altogether, including some of the primary Caribbean-focused options. Mark Gargula, Gowrie Group’s VIPCA Yacht Insurance Specialist, has been proactively working with our yacht clients to review their policies and optimize their coverage for premium saving and align with their current usage. We expect the yacht insurance market to continue to evolve and go in new directions through 2021 and into 2022. These changes open opportunities for yacht owners to work with Gowrie Group to secure the best coverage possible,” Bagnall says.
Contacts for Gowrie Group’s VIPCA Health Insurance Team are Bagnall, firstname.lastname@example.org, (860)-391-7161, and Barbie Murray-Orne, barbiem@gowriecom, (860) 399-3630. For Yacht Insurance Consultations, contact Mark Gargula, email@example.com, (860) 391-7371. www.gowrie.com
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With much of the show converted last year into virtual forums, this year with attendees being vaccinated, organizers are pleased to return to hosting in-person networking events to capitalize on the opportunity for attending charter brokers to meet the crews personally.
“Many brokers, including myself, attended virtually last year. It’s just not the same as meeting the crew in person. There’s nothing like face-to-face interactions, not just on the boat, but throughout the show, at events and spontaneous individual chats. Personal relationships are huge. This year, there are so many new cats (catamarans) and crew that I can’t wait to be there,” says Trish Cronan, president of Ocean Getaways Yacht Charters, based in Ft. Denaud, FL.
Cronan adds, “Insurance, especially both health and travel, is more important now than ever. A common question I’m asked by potential charterers now is, ‘what if I test positive for COVID. Will my insurance cover that?”
A great range of yachts is exhibiting this year. These include the brand new 2022-built 65’ Lagoon luxury sailing catamaran, Justified Horizons; the 112’ Broward power yacht, Lady Sharon Gale, with her 2021 refit; the 92’ sailing monohull, August Maverick; and the 75’ luxury power catamaran, Valhalla.
Photo: Valhalla, a 75’ luxury power catamaran. Courtesy Valhalla.
“By participating in the 2021 USVI Charter Yacht Show, brokers will be given an exclusive opportunity to come onboard. Valhalla is such a unique vessel, with no other like it on display. This is a powerful and extremely comfortable boat with a futuristic look and completely custom design, inside and out,” says Captain Sergio Gomez, who charters with Chef Neen Reynolds and Crew Britnie Frizzle.
Valhalla’s outstanding features include four guest cabins each with a private bathroom; a fully open two-story saloon with a large dining area and airy lounging corner; and an enclosed flybridge designed especially for comfort on long passages. Two Volvo Penta 1200 IPS engines enable the vessel to comfortably cruise at 14-knots and a top speed of 20-knots. Valhalla’s water toys include full sets of scuba diving gear, a Jet Ski, a dinghy with 70hp outboard, andmultiple floating mats and lounge items.
IGY’s Yacht Haven Grande St. Thomas Marina will offer an exceptionally low show berthing rate of $1.50 per foot per day from November 1 through 17. www.igymarinas.com/marinas/marina-yacht-haven-grande/. There’s also an ‘on arrival’ fuel rate that comes with a 5% discount.
On the heels of a successful show in 2020, the USVI Charter Yacht Show will continue to have in place several COVID-19 protocols and is proud to announce that it will be a fully vaccinated event. At the heart of any yacht show is the connecting of people and the opportunity for charter brokers to speak directly to the yacht crews and making this as safe as possible is the organizer's priority.
“Every opportunity for exhibiting yachts to host charter yacht brokers onboard is welcomed, as it is at any charter show. Thus, with the 2021 show shaping up to have a very strong broker attendance, VIPCA has included two onboard broker-dinner options and opened all lunches for brokers to dine onboard by prior invitation. For show attendees who don’t wish to dine onboard, evening catering will be provided by Moe’s Fresh Market free-of-charge and by advance order. Additionally, there are many restaurants open for lunch and dinner daily at Yacht Haven Grande,” says Oriel Blake, VIPCA Executive Director.
A reminder to Yacht Chefs that first-come, first-served registration is open now for the 2021 US Virgin Islands Charter Yacht Show Culinary Competition and Cocktail Competitions, set for November 8 and 9, respectively. The judges this year will be Chef and Pro-Boxer, author of My Modern Caribbean Kitchen and St. Thomas native Julius Jackson, Chef Ralph Motta of Motta Cuisine on St. Croix, Chef Colin Auchincloss of Island Edge Culinary, and Eron Brown of Sugar Brown Farm. Register at vipca.org/culinary-competition or vipca.org/cocktail-competition/
For information about COVID-19 protocols to enter the USVI, visit: www.usvitravelportal.com. For USVI Charter Yacht Show COVID protocols, visit: https://vipca.org/covid-19-safety-protocols/. Walk-in COVID-19 testing is available at Yacht Haven Grande Family Practice on November 8, 9, and 10 for $100 with results available in 15 minutes. Appointments in advance are appreciated: www.redhookfamilypractice.com.
Sponsors of the USVI Charter Yacht show include the USVI Department of Tourism; Yacht Haven Grande; IGY Marinas; Offshore Marine; the Gowrie Group; Catamaran Central; Moe’s Fresh Market; Grey Goose, distributed by West Indies Company; Veuve Clicquot and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Parts & Power Ltd., distributor of Northern Lights; Pamlico Group; the Charter Yacht Broker Association; Cardow Jewelers; Harbor Shoppers and Viya Business Solutions.
VIPCA is the territory’s 501(c)(6) nonprofit marine association, whose purpose is to promote, protect and further the capabilities of charter yachts and the marine businesses that sustain them. Projects and initiatives VIPCA membership supports includes producing a marine directory of local information, technical advice and resources; improving Customs and Border Protection facilities; facilitating access for charter vessels between the USVI and the Spanish Virgin Islands; compliance guidance; installation of territory-wide new transient moorings; and marine vocational training for V.I. youth under the organization’s charity fiscally sponsored by Community Foundation Virgin Islands (CFVI.net), the Marine Rebuild Fund.
Media, USVI Charter Yacht Show